The Devialet thread

Page 18 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
Thank you Matt for another insightful review.

I home demoed some AV SI3 Supers a couple of years ago paired with my Sugden Masterclass, but unfortunately that wasn't a happy match and no better than the ProAcs I had at the time.

From what you say, the model you heard today would be in another league... did you enquire about the possibility of a home dem?

What's up next for you?

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
CnoEvil said:
I didn't know (or quite forgot) that the Devialet did an ADC on all analogue signals.

Linn upsamples everything to 352.8 kHz or 384 kHz, but (as I understand it) if the digital out was set to "raw", all processing is by-passed.

Just in case it's of academic interest: http://docs.linn.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Up-sampling
Thanks for that, Cno.

Whatever the ins ond outs of upsampling/downsampling/notsampling, the system sounded spiffingly good.

Based on the theory that the amp-speaker synergy is more important than the differences between high quality digital streamers, my plan is to get the 'destination' speakers sorted first. Once I've done that, I'll think about fettling the digital source. Linn might get a look-in, though at the moment the first box on my list is the Moon 180 MiND streamer. People over on the 'Wam have good things to say about this combined with Devialet. It has digital AES/EBU output, which is Devialet's feed of preference.

DocG said:
So where would you rank the AudioVectors in the growing list of speakers you heard?
Cheers, Doc.

So far in equal first place: the Audiovectors and the Sonus faber Olympica IIs. Next come the Vivid V1.5s. These three are the only speakers that have made it onto the shortlist so far, but the unauditioned list is still fairly long.

Matt
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
matt49 said:
Thanks for that, Cno.

Whatever the ins ond outs of upsampling/downsampling/notsampling, the system sounded spiffingly good.

Based on the theory that the amp-speaker synergy is more important than the differences between high quality digital streamers, my plan is to get the 'destination' speakers sorted first. Once I've done that, I'll think about fettling the digital source. Linn might get a look-in, though at the moment the first box on my list is the Moon 180 MiND streamer. People over on the 'Wam have good things to say about this combined with Devialet. It has digital AES/EBU output, which is Devialet's feed of preference.
The amp/speaker synergy maybe more important, but will only be maximized when the source is right.....in fact, the wrong source can undo a lot of the good.

Surprising as it my seem, if you are only looking for a transport to pass the signal to the DAC in the Devialet, I don't think I'd use a Linn DS. If you use them as intended, there is little better, but any time I've used my MDS as a transport (for a DCS Debussy & AN 2.1x Sig) I didn't think it allowed them to shine properly. It's almost like Linn are trying to put you off doing anything other than using their DS's processing / filtering.

I have no idea what the Devialet would do with the upsampled signal coming out of a DS, but as you rightly say, there seems little point. If I was you, I'd get one of the well designed, dedicated transports that are available.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
CnoEvil said:
Surprising as it my seem, if you are only looking for a transport to pass the signal to the DAC in the Devialet, I don't think I'd use a Linn DS. If you use them as intended, there is little better, but any time I've used my MDS as a transport (for a DCS Debussy & AN 2.1x Sig) I didn't think it allowed them to shine properly. It's almost like Linn are trying to put you off doing anything other than using their DS's processing / filtering.

I have no idea what the Devialet would do with the upsampled signal coming out of a DS, but as you rightly say, there seems little point. If I was you, I'd get one of the well designed, dedicated transports that are available.
Re. a Linn DS: that's pretty much my thinking too. And there's also the cost factor: with a LInn DS I'd be paying a lot of money for technology I wouldn't be using.

My understanding is that the Devialet's DAC can accept feeds up to 24/192, and that all content is upsampled to 192kHz for processing.

In theory the best source for a Devialet is a wireless or wired network connection, which as far as possible eradicates noise and jitter. Second best, again in theory, is async USB, because this leaves the Devialet's master clock in control, though there's always the possibility of some noise via the USB's 5V power line. Third best would be digital over AES/EBU, which benefits from perfect impedance matching, but isn't async. SPDIF comes fourth. Quite where optical would sit in this theoretical ranking isn't clear to me.

Anyway, that's the theory. It may be that the SQ differences are so insignificant as to be trumped by issues of functionality and user-friendliness. I've persuaded myself that NAS via USB sounds better than my modded Sonos via SPDIF. I couldn't hear any difference between USB and ethernet. I use the former because the connection is completely stable and I can control the NAS from an iPad Mini (my Christmas present to myself).

My feeling is that eventually Devialet will implement DLNA compatibility within the Dev itself, which will make the Dev into a fully fledged streamer. If that happens, I'll pipe my NAS into the Dev via ethernet. This is another reason not to throw big money at a transport now.

Cno, I know you're a fan of white papers ... here's the D-Premier text, which explains how, with a wireless or wired network feed, Devialet achieves the shortest signal path between source and speaker of any digital system that's ever been designed. :read:

http://en.devialet.com/assets/Uploads/D-Premier-White-Paper-Munich.pdf

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
Looks like the Devialet remote inspired the B&O engineers for a similar design (not the same, just similar).

Clicky.



Now if the Logitechs of this world could make a generic version, that you could use with any kit... even, like, say, for example the AMS 35i, that would make even more people happy! :evil:
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
DocG said:
Now if the Logitechs of this world could make a generic version, that you could use with any kit... even, like, say, for example the AMS 35i, that would make even more people happy! :evil:
Hey, lay off Cno! He's having a hard time today, what with stevebrock undermining his whole Weltanschauung by not liking the Class A Sugden A21.

:poke:
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
matt49 said:
DocG said:
Now if the Logitechs of this world could make a generic version, that you could use with any kit... even, like, say, for example the AMS 35i, that would make even more people happy! :evil:
Hey, lay off Cno! He's having a hard time today, what with stevebrock undermining his whole Weltanschauung by not liking the Class A Sugden A21.

:poke:
Nah, Cno is Evil in person. He can take it! :twisted:
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
DocG said:
matt49 said:
DocG said:
Now if the Logitechs of this world could make a generic version, that you could use with any kit... even, like, say, for example the AMS 35i, that would make even more people happy! :evil:
Hey, lay off Cno! He's having a hard time today, what with stevebrock undermining his whole Weltanschauung by not liking the Class A Sugden A21.

:poke:
Nah, Cno is Evil in person. He can take it! :twisted:
:silenced:
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
CnoEvil said:
DocG said:
matt49 said:
DocG said:
Now if the Logitechs of this world could make a generic version, that you could use with any kit... even, like, say, for example the AMS 35i, that would make even more people happy! :evil:
Hey, lay off Cno! He's having a hard time today, what with stevebrock undermining his whole Weltanschauung by not liking the Class A Sugden A21.

:poke:
Nah, Cno is Evil in person. He can take it! :twisted:
:silenced:
You see?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
DocG said:
CnoEvil said:
DocG said:
matt49 said:
DocG said:
Now if the Logitechs of this world could make a generic version, that you could use with any kit... even, like, say, for example the AMS 35i, that would make even more people happy! :evil:
Hey, lay off Cno! He's having a hard time today, what with stevebrock undermining his whole Weltanschauung by not liking the Class A Sugden A21.

:poke:
Nah, Cno is Evil in person. He can take it! :twisted:
:silenced:
You see?
I C noEvil.....though speaking's another matter! :twisted:
 

James7

New member
Jun 1, 2011
7
0
0
Great report on the Audiovectors, Matt. If you are still trying to put together a long list you might want to add Dynaudio's Confidence range, Triangle's Magellan and Usher's Dancer.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
James7 said:
Great report on the Audiovectors, Matt. If you are still trying to put together a long list you might want to add Dynaudio's Confidence range, Triangle's Magellan and Usher's Dancer.
Cheers, James!

Thanks for the further suggestions. I've liked the Dynaudios I've heard, however the Confidence range is just beyond the pale for me in aesthetic terms. It's the panel glued on to the front of the box. I just don't think I'd like to have it in the house.

The Ushers on the other hand are nice looking speakers, one or two style cues taken from Sonus faber perhaps? The only issue will be their size. The CP-8571 II DMDs, for instance, are 760mm deep. That's quite a lot of living space!

Matt
 

James7

New member
Jun 1, 2011
7
0
0
matt49 said:
James7 said:
Great report on the Audiovectors, Matt. If you are still trying to put together a long list you might want to add Dynaudio's Confidence range, Triangle's Magellan and Usher's Dancer.
Cheers, James!

Thanks for the further suggestions. I've liked the Dynaudios I've heard, however the Confidence range is just beyond the pale for me in aesthetic terms. It's the panel glued on to the front of the box. I just don't think I'd like to have it in the house.

The Ushers on the other hand are nice looking speakers, one or two style cues taken from Sonus faber perhaps? The only issue will be their size. The CP-8571 II DMDs, for instance, are 760mm deep. That's quite a lot of living space!

Matt
i am with you on the looks of the Dynaudios though in sound quality terms they may very well suit. Some of the Ushers are enormous as you say - the Mini Dancers (there are two floorstanding designs and one stand mount I think) might be worth auditioning though - and as you say, aesthetically pleasing they certainly are. The other company you could investigate further (I seem to remember you may have auditioned some of their speakers though may be wrong) is Wilson Benesch.
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
NHL drew my attention to the Pandion 2 speakers by System Audio. By whom? Yes, System Audio, a Danish speaker company, that celebrates its 30th anniversary(!) this year. Never heard of SA before? Me neither.



Anyhoo, SA has a Belgian distributor, whom I contacted about a month ago. Last week, he mailed me that the Pandion 2s were to arrive any day. So we arranged for a demo. This morning, he came to our place, with the speakers. Personal service? You bet!

These speakers have a story behind them. They were developped in an open forum, with 110 engineers thinking along with the SA design team.

The result looks smart, in matte white. The cabinet form reminds of AudioVector's Si1, a similarity others had noticed before me, but SA replies that both the Pandion 2 and the Si1 are inspired by an older SA model, the SA2K from 2000.

Black grilles cover the whole front and are attached 'the old way' (no magnetic fixing here).

Under the grille, we find a ScanSpeak tweeter and a 13 cm mid-bass driver by the same manufacturer. On the tapered back, there is a port, one pair of high quality binding posts (accepting spades, bananas or bare wire) and an intriguing switch, marked "I/0 ". This switch, the distributor tells me, can be used to lower the highest trebbles with a couple of dB. Handy if your listening room has lots of glass and other hard surfaces, I guess.

We set the speakers up on my Norstone stands, no more than 30 cm off the front wall (like they will have to perform, should I get them).

But what do they sound like? First things I noticed were excellent transparancy and decent dynamics. With plucked, steel string, acoustic guitar though, the sound was rather 'closed in', not as natural and airy as the aforementioned Si1. This could be due to the dome tweeter (as opposed to the Si1's ribbon tweeter). But it might as well be a break-in thing: asked the question, the distributor told me these speakers had been playing two, three hours at most, before he brought them to me. Less that optimal, to say the least...

When playing some rock music, the SAs surprised me. A lot. I never heard such a full, rich bass coming out of a two way standmounted speaker of this size. And they had had only 3 hours of break-in! Imagine what will happen once they have properly loosened up.

With really bass heavy music, and at higher volumes, their position close to the front wall resulted in a bloated bass, which luckily could be tempered with the Dev's tone controls. But that'll be a point of attention when doing a home demo.

In conclusion, are these the best so far? Definitely not: the AudioVectors and the Vaessens both sounded more balanced, more dynamic and had more air. And positioning the Pandions close to the wall could be problematic. But with their transparancy, speed and bass slam, and taking the very short break-in time into account, they do absolutely deserve a place on my short list!
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
Very interesting, Doc, and always good to hear about an unfamiliar manufacturer.

But I'm also kind of pleased they didn't beat the Audiovectors.

Is that a pic of your house?

:cheers:

Matt
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
matt49 said:
Very interesting, Doc, and always good to hear about an unfamiliar manufacturer.

But I'm also kind of pleased they didn't beat the Audiovectors.

Is that a pic of your house?

:cheers:

Matt
I wish it was... It's copied from the SA brochure :type:
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
DocG said:
matt49 said:
Very interesting, Doc, and always good to hear about an unfamiliar manufacturer.

But I'm also kind of pleased they didn't beat the Audiovectors.

Is that a pic of your house?

:cheers:

Matt
I wish it was... It's copied from the SA brochure :type:
Ah, so I have to revise my mental image of you living in an oasis of ultra-modern Scando-style calm. Shame.
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
matt49 said:
DocG said:
matt49 said:
Very interesting, Doc, and always good to hear about an unfamiliar manufacturer.

But I'm also kind of pleased they didn't beat the Audiovectors.

Is that a pic of your house?

:cheers:

Matt
I wish it was... It's copied from the SA brochure :type:
Ah, so I have to revise my mental image of you living in an oasis of ultra-modern Scando-style calm. Shame.
Ah yeah, maybe one day... I'll keep you posted!
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
Thanks Doc for another interesting read... when you mentioned the switch on the back, I thought it was going to be for adjusting the base, as in the Audio Vectors I demoed, must admit it smacked of being a bit of a gimic

to me and when used, totally took the life out of the speaker.

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
Macspur said:
Thanks Doc for another interesting read... when you mentioned the switch on the back, I thought it was going to be for adjusting the base, as in the Audio Vectors I demoed, must admit it smacked of being a bit of a gimic

to me and when used, totally took the life out of the speaker.

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
Hey Mac, I didn't try the switch myself, as our current living room is not bright at all. But SA make "speakers that can function in the real world" (as they put it on their website), and I guess the switch could work in a minimalistic, glass-and-bare-plaster room -- well, to make it sound less awful :). I don't think this switch will solve the acoustics completely.

Meanwhile I heard an AudioVector Si1 Signature. With its dome tweeter it is a lot cheaper than the Avantgarde version (with ribbon tweeter) I heard earlier. But the magic isn't there anymore. It's just one of many two way standmounted speakers. So now I understand why you were not impressed by them at all!
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
After a work-enforced break, I'm back on the speaker trail.

I'm demoing some Paradigms, Dalis and yet more Audiovectors tomorrow, assuming I can find my way through the flooded Thames valley. And next week I have the Audio Note AN-Es coming to stay for a few days.

8)

Matt
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
matt49 said:
After a work-enforced break, I'm back on the speaker trail.

I'm demoing some Paradigms, Dalis and yet more Audiovectors tomorrow, assuming I can find my way through the flooded Thames valley. And next week I have the Audio Note AN-Es coming to stay for a few days.

8)

Matt
Excellent, looking forward to your thoughts, especially on the Audio Notes...You might have to get the canoe out!



Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
matt49 said:
After a work-enforced break, I'm back on the speaker trail.

I'm demoing some Paradigms, Dalis and yet more Audiovectors tomorrow, assuming I can find my way through the flooded Thames valley. And next week I have the Audio Note AN-Es coming to stay for a few days.

8)

Matt
Work getting in the way can be a real pain when you need to audition! I empathize, Matt. ;)

I wonder which Audiovectors you have on the menu for now...

But, like Mac, I'm curious what you think of the AN-Es above all. I heard the AN-Ks, and was not that impressed, but the AN-Es could (should) be in a different league!

:cheers:
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
So back on the trail again. Today it was a shoot-out between three floorstanders from Audiovector of Denmark, Paradigm of Canada, and Dali of Denmark. A speaker winter Olympics!

The system: lossless files playing through a Linn Akurate DS via digital outs into my Devialet 170.

Audiovector Si3 Avantgarde

I recently raved about the top model in this range, the Si3 Avantgarde Arreté. The model I heard today is the next model down in the range and is virtually identical: a slim three-way design with the same ribbon tweeter, but lacking the internal shock absorption of the Arreté. The two have slightly different crossover frequencies. The Arreté supposedly has better measured bass performance and power handling.

The general characteristics of the speakers are the same: great presence, delicacy when needed, fluidity, fine dynamics and a very flat-sounding frequency response. All good.

For reasons that’ll become apparent, I’m going to focus on bass in this write-up. The Audiovectors’ bass was nicely controlled, though tending towards dryness. Imagine a big kettle drum. A solid blow gives you an initial boom and then a few diminishing waves of reverberation. The Audiovectors give these waves pretty sharp leading edges. That’s what I mean by dryness. The upper bass frequencies, which give the resonances their sharpness, are more prominent than the lower continuous rumble.

Paradigm S6

Slightly bulkier than the Audiovectors, the Paradigms aren’t, to my eye at least, attractive speakers. The four curved metal feet and the bottom of the fascia are ugly. When the grille is removed the speakers are uglier still. Too much metal!

This is a three-and-a-half way design, with a beryllium tweeter, and aluminium mid-range driver, and two woofers. If you don’t like the sound of that, your prejudices will be confirmed by what follows.

OK, the Paradigms are obviously impressive and capable speakers. In particular, they produce wonderful rich and controlled bass that’s ever so musical — maybe the most musical bass I’ve yet heard from a speaker. The mid range is also good, but that’s where the positives end.

Compared to the Audiovectors, I thought the top end was a bit of a mess. There was a combination of muckiness and screechiness that I really didn’t like. Strings sounded metallic. The natural sibilance of voices was both overdone and dirty.

In addition, there seemed to be a dip at the treble crossover point, and with solo piano the left and right hands just didn’t join up properly.

Dali Epicon 6

I think these speakers look lovely — obviously not Sonus Faber lovely, but a nice mixture of smooth lines and simplicity. It’s also worth noting that they’re very deep, I mean in terms of their physical dimensions, so the enclosure is really very big, and certainly much larger than the Audiovectors. And big enclosure equals deep bass.

The design is interesting. Two woofers of the same dimensions, but differently tuned, and what Dali call a 'hybrid' tweeter, which is in fact two tweeters: a conventional dome and a ribbon to take care of the very top end.

It was an odd experience listening to the Dalis, because my reaction changed from ‘meh’ to ‘ooh, nice!’ over the course of half an hour’s listening. Initially I had doubts about a bit of flatness in the upper mid range. They didn’t seem as sweet and airy as the Audiovectors (to say nothing of my SFs). I felt they were failing to fully capture the timbre of acoustic instruments. I also thought there was something slightly scratchy at the top end

But … the Epicons are certainly very involving dynamically, rhythmically and spatially. They’d be amazing as front speakers in a surround-sound AV system. And with opera they were quite stunning: hugely dramatic, a real sense of sitting in front of a stage with stuff going on all around, from left to right, from back to front, and also up and down.

No doubt this impression is created in part by a rich and well controlled bottom end. Going back to that kettle drum: the waves of reverb were distinctly audible, but they were also smooth and rounded.

The more I listened to them, the more their natural musicality grew on me, and my initial doubts ebbed away. Solo grand piano did really sound ‘grand’: a huge instrument. And there was no sacrificing of high-frequency information or sweetness.

After a first listen to all three speakers, I revisited the Audiovectors and Dalis. The thinness of the Audiovectors’ bass was striking: they are sweet and transparent speakers, but I began to feel that the Dalis beat them for overall musicality.

So a very interesting and perhaps slightly confusing demo. I suspect the Dalis may just be a bit too big and bold for my room, and that the Audiovectors might suit the space better. But the Dalis are certainly very competitive, and they deserve a home demo.

:cheers:

Matt
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
matt49 said:
So a very interesting and perhaps slightly confusing demo. I suspect the Dalis may just be a bit too big and bold for my room, and that the Audiovectors might suit the space better. But the Dalis are certainly very competitive, and they deserve a home demo.

:cheers:

Matt
Great write up.......I've not heard any of those speakers, but feel like I now have a reasonable idea of their sound.

I predict that none of them will beat the SFs that you currently have your eye on.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts